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Tech company to bring new jobs to San Marcos

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An agreement was signed between Katerra Inc. and the city of San Marcos, Oct. 16 to build a manufacturing and distribution facility to the city.
Photo by Elza Taurins

A new technology company coming to town will bring 542 new full-time jobs to San Marcos as part of a $109-110 million incentive agreement with City Council.

The agreement between San Marcos and Katerra Inc., an advanced technology-driven company providing services including architecture, engineering, construction management, materials supply, will establish an automated building component manufacturing and distribution facility within San Marcos city limits, along State Highway 80, east of State Highway 21, but will be a part of Caldwell County.

JZ Rigney, senior manager at Katerra, said the company has not yet made a public announcement about the facility.

“In the meantime, I can confirm Katerra applied for an economic development incentive with the City of San Marcos and Caldwell County to support the expansion of our advanced manufacturing operations in the U.S.,” Rigney stated in an email. “Katerra is looking to establish a manufacturing facility to serve the South-Central U.S. market. Similar in scope to Katerra’s Tracy, Cali. factory, this factory will be a 600,000 square-foot facility and employ 542 people in advanced manufacturing roles.”

Caldwell County Commissioner Edward Theriot said Caldwell has voted in favor of the incentive agreement to build the facility in the area.

“Caldwell County is very excited about the investment in the county, and especially the number of jobs which are very important to us,” Theriot said. “As I understand, there will be a 600,000 square foot facility, so it will be a very large structure.”

The newly built facility will be manufacturing and distributing several materials, including wall panels, floor systems, roof truss assemblies and windows. According to San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides, the agreement will bring hundreds of jobs to the city and have an economic benefit for residents.

“It’s 542 jobs in year one, (that’s) the agreement,” Thomaides said. “They have to hire and employ 542 (people) after the first 12 months, so it’s a huge economic impact for our citizens and our city. We’ve been talking a lot about better-paying careers and better quality of life and more opportunities for housing that’s affordable as well, so I’m happy to be able to deliver these types of jobs.”

Thomaides said Katerra will bring a variety of jobs to the area, ranging from management to computer design and engineering to advanced fabrication.

“Advanced manufacturing typically covers 40 percent of the payroll (the company’s list of employees) and 20 percent are engineers and 20 percent will be administration and management and 20 percent in the maintenance department,” Thomaides said.

According to the agreement, bringing a company facility to San Marcos will generate revenues for the city from the addition of personal property inventory and improvements to real property.

Kevin Burke, economic development administrator for San Marcos, said the city will oversee the construction and development of the facility.

“The facility is just in Caldwell County, no different (to) how property technically in Hays County would be developed in city standards under the city of San Marcos restrictions.”

The company will be able to apply for their first grant payment in 2022, paid by the city. Construction is expected to start June 2019 and completed by March 2020.

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